Madurodam, The Netherlands
Madurodam is a miniature city located in Scheveningen, The Hague, in the Netherlands. It is a model of a Dutch town on a 1:25 scale, composed of typical Dutch buildings and landmarks, as are found at various locations in the country. This major Dutch tourist attraction was built in 1952 and has been visited by tens of millions of visitors ever since.
The miniature city was named after George Maduro, a Jewish law student from Curaçao who fought the Nazi occupation forces as a member of the Dutch resistance and died at Dachau concentration camp in 1945. In 1946 Maduro was posthumously awarded the medal of Knight 4th-class of the Military Order of William, the highest and oldest military decoration in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, for the valor he had demonstrated in the Battle of the Netherlands against German troops. His parents donated the funds necessary for the Madurodam project.
On July 2, 1952, the then teenaged princess Beatrix was appointed mayor of Madurodam, after which she was given a tour of her town. When Beatrix became queen of the Netherlands, she relinquished this function. Today, the mayor of Madurodam is elected by a youth municipal council consisting of 25 pupils from schools in the region.
This park was the inspiration for Storybook Land, attraction which was opened in Paris in 1955. In addition, a visit to Madurodam inspired Fernando de Ercilla to start the project of Catalunya en Miniatura, one of the largest miniature parks in the world, which was opened in 1983 in Catalonia, Spain.